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Where'd My Confidence Go?

Posted 1/5/2015

Enjoying RomeEnjoying RomeI've lost something really important and I didn't even realise it had gone. I have lost nearly all of confidence. I became aware of this when I was asked to go on a press trip to Rome. Instead of being completely excited there was this big part of me that was worried. People I'd never met. Driving to Heathrow. Leaving my boys at home. Flying. The list goes on.

When did I stop being confident and turn into this worried and 'safe in her bubble' woman? When I actually started to think about it, it became apparent it started a really long time ago. It has been no one thing but a culmination of a lot of different things, some small and barely noticed at the time, others larger. 

I became less confident when I met my husband, I knew from the very beginning that this was it, he was the one. Suddenly I had someone in my corner, all the time, I no longer needed to be as confident. I had someone to do it for me. I stopped being able to watch horror films. I also stopped worrying about what other people thought, I didn't care, I didn't need to.

Then I had several bad experiences with jobs. They left me shaken to the core and questioning everything. To this day I have never fully recovered.

I had fast tracked my way through retail management, I was a department manager and buyer by the time I was 20, I left this job for a better opportunity, moved to Watford away from my family, friends and away from my now husband, then I was treated appallingly, with no training, no support and a drug taking, mean and sleeping with the boss's son, nightmare of a manager. This has been the first and only job I walked out on, I tried whistle blowing but this was not kept confidential, it was hellish. I became less trusting of people. I became less trusting of my own judgement. I disappointed my parents. I became withdrawn and more reliant than ever on my husband. 

At home with my boy I am happy At home with my boy I am happy

I decided retail management wasn't for me and took an office job,  enjoyed this for some time until I was moved to the call centre at a time of business upheaval and high complaint volumes. Again I was left in a broken heap, there are only so many phone calls you can take each day where you have other adults screaming at you. I was signed off work with stress, although having struggled with depression on and off since my early teens I knew it to be more than this, but I got better, ish. I still avoid making phone calls unless I have to. These experiences haunted my pregnancy and left me worried that I would get post-natal depression, I was lucky, I didn't. I have learnt my triggers, my warning signs and most importantly learned some great coping mechanisms, the biggest of which is talking (or writing), voicing my concerns makes them seem more manageable. 

I've slowly but surely put on weight, hurray for PCOS and a sweet tooth, a savoury tooth as well, just as it happens. Whilst I'm not actually trying to lose weight and am fairly happy in my own skin, there's no two ways about it, pop me in a room of skinny folk and I feel like I'm being judged.

I had my baby boy, my life started to revolve round him, I had a constant excuse to not do things, I am happy only being with him, all the time just the two of us. I forgot who I was before him. Wow leaving him for 3 nights has been hard, we both survived though.

As I've grown older my social circle has shrunk, my routine has become more set and is comfortable. I have created a safe bubble I rarely leave.

Is it fair that I judge my confidence now against that of my 19 year old self? Most likely not I was a cocky shit of a teenager, like many 19 year olds out there, I hadn't really lived but thought I had, I had no fear and thought the world would fall at my feet, I thought what I had already been through was tough and the rest would be easy. Oh what I'd tell my 19 year old self, but I wouldn't change it

It is now that I'm trying to push out of that bubble that I realise how restrictive I have allowed myself to be. How I have taken the easy route out and stopped pushing myself.

Well now I'm pushing, wish me luck. Step one, no more anonymous blogging. So here it is, this is me.  

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